That’s where Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he is going soon to talk to the Russians about ballistic missile defense cooperation. Earlier this month, Levin came out in favor of the US placing a renewed emphasis on seeking collaboration with the Russians in this realm, especially to thwart Iranian missile proliferation. “The Administration that is now in office said they are interested in it and the Russian administration … has mentioned it as well,” Levin told the Daily Report after a breakfast meeting with defense reporters today. “Because Iran appears to be hell-bent” on developing longer range missiles, “it is more and more essential that Russia and the United States act together relative to that threat,” he said. Such a joint effort “would be a very, very powerful statement to Iran,” Levin said. The sharing of early warning data “is the one area where we can make some real progress,” he said. Past joint BMD efforts have faltered, such as the RAMOS research satellite project.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.